Do introverts and cruises mix well?

Old Feb 17th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Do introverts and cruises mix well?

My husband has always fantasized about going on a cruise and is pushing for one now. This is baffling to me because he is a total introvert. The idea of his sitting at assigned seating night after night in a large circle is almost laughable. He would seriously want to bring a book and ignore everybody. He has a very demanding job with lots of human interactions, and basically when it's his down time, he really needs go inside. He could NEVER make it through "Broadway Entertainment Night".

I think the appeal of a cruise is the sense that one can totally "get away" - and there is no place to go. I also get the impression that the drinking is pretty serious on cruise ships and we are non-drinkers. Is there any sense of privacy? do you have to eat with everybody else? is the energy relaxed or kind of frenetic? I just hate the idea that we would sign up for such a thing and he would be miserable only because he imagined something terribly different.

Thanks for any advice.
preciousbane is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I think everyone should try a cruise at least once. Everyone seems to have misconceptions of a cruise. However, in your case I actually think you have a valid point and a cruise may not be the "best" vacation he will ever have. I do feel that the ship you choose for a cruise makes a huge difference in the experience. You will not feel like you are the only ones not drinking. Church groups go on cruises all the time! You may want to choose a line with relaxed cruise atmosphere such as Holland America or Celebrity. Holland America will have a larger proportion of older well traveled types and the night life will not be as lively. All cruises have a schedule that may not be your husband's "ideal" get away from it all vacation. This includes dinner time and even activity and shore time. But, give it a try! By being careful in your cruise choice you may be pleasantly surprised!
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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I too would vote for the cruise.

I enjoy groups of people--but I also enjoy private time with a book. A cruise offers both--especially if you get a room with a balcony.

As to the drinking, I've been on cruises where I imbided, and others where I drank very little and thoroughly enjoyed both.

One of the things that makes crusing such a great vacation is that you have a lot of options as to how you spend your time so you can do the things that you like to do.

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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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I love to cruise and while not an introvert, my idea of a great vacation is to sit on my balcony or a quiet dck and read, jsut about all day!

I would choose your ship carefully to avoid a mah=jor party atmosphere. HAL is a good choice for a more sedate experience.

And we always request a table for 2. It is a pleasure for us to dine alone and we cherish that time together.
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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My husband and I mostly sail Princess because we don't like to dine with others. With Personal Choice dining you can dine at anytime with a table for 2. Hubby also has a very stressful job so when we travel he doesn't like to socialize, we are in the same situation.

If you sail the larger ships it is very easy to find a public spot (like the lounges) to not be disturbed. Also we always get a balcony cabin which is very private, it is great to hang out on the balcony with a good book.

We don't drink so that is a non issue for us.

Hubby talked me into taking a cruise 3 years ago and I wasn't that into it. After the first cruise we were hooked, have 7 under our belts now and 3 more scheduled for this year.
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 03:11 PM
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Having just come back 2 1/2 weeks ago from my first cruise, I can echo the sentiments of the other posters. I was surprised by how much space there is on the ship and the availability of quiet spots.

The back deck on floor (is that correct terminology?) was never busy. I never saw more than 10 people out there and that was at it's busiest.

The inside lounges were almost vacant during the day.

And, we loved our balcony!!!
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 06:51 PM
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I agree that you need to know what cruise line and ship appeals to you. You may better off on a ship with less people vs. the huge mega ships with over 2,000 people. From my own limited experience, Radisson Seven Seas and a few other luxury lines have smaller passenger loads with a high level of service.

Also agree that being able to dine alone, just the 2 of you, needs to be an easy option. In addition to Princess, Radisson has completely open dining. Meaning you can dine at anytime between the allotted dining hours. And you can eat alone or with others of your choosing. No set dining companions.

Also look for ships with several restaurants for dinner. Another chance to "dine alone" so to speak since many of the alternative restaurants are much smaller and quieter than the main dining rooms.

Also, you can sign up for every tour offered and participate in as many onboard activities as you like. Or, simply relax on the balcony or by the pool with a book.

My husband would die if we had to sit with a large group of people night after night on a cruise. Luckily, there are lines that don't do that anymore.

I know there is open dining on Radisson, and Oceania. Do some more research and find a line that offers that.


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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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I have to agree with the other posters - travelinwifey, that's funny - we took our first in 2002 and have just booked our 6th and 7th for later this year. You can get hooked easily. BTW, I live in the west suburbs of Pgh also!

Go with a line like Princess (which is our favorite) where you can do anytime dining and get a table for 2 each night, definitely get a balcony, and you can have all the privacy you want. If you really want to get away rather than visit ports, look for a cruise with more sea days and fewer ports of call. Princess is not known as a party ship, whether you drink or not, you will feel comfortable there. I can't speak for the other lines. But if it's privacy you are after, do book a balcony cabin so you have your own little outdoor space.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 03:28 AM
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My DH and I are the same (he's a college professor). We don't care to talk to other people more than the usual pleasantries. Even so, we've been on 3 cruises (and are on our next in less than a month) and have enjoyed every minute. We've even sailed on Carnival and enjoyed it! I think you make your own cruise experience to a large extent. Sure, Carnival has lots of partying, but we just didn't go there. I don't go to discos at home, why should I go on a cruise, right? Oh, and a table for 2 is a must for us, too.

As to drinking, I have one cocktail w/dinner, DH might have 2. That's it. No drinking all day and all night .

I agree with the balcony. It's incredibly relaxing and with a good book, there's no better way to pass the time. Even if you don't have a balcony, there are plenty of quiet areas around the ship.

I think he'll enjoy it. Read all you can about the different cruise lines, because they do have different personalities, and choose one that meets your needs. Have fun!
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 09:09 AM
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It really can vary according to the cruiseline and the itinerary. "Port-intensive" itineraries can often so tucker out the pax that the ship becomes more a place for sleeping and taking it easy, while other itineraries may result in more time on-board for all the "distractions" to invade your time. If you get a balcony on a warm-water itinerary, though, there's nothing stopping you from living on room service and novels and watching the water slide by.

Let me also offer a thought about "something completely different."

Six years ago my wife and I booked passage on a freighter from New Zealand to California via Fiji. We were the only passengers on board (the ship held a maximum of 8), dined with the officers (good food but no buffets or formal nights), had the run of the ship - bridge, engine room, etc.) and had 20 days of glorious "down time" - walking around the decks, reading, looking at the flying fish or dolphins (now and then), watching videos, listening to the BBC on the shortwave in the luxurious lounge... in short it was pretty idyllic and we've never been more relaxed in our lives. Suva for 3 days while the cargo handlers s-l-o-w-l-y offloaded general cargo, then coming in under the Golden Gate bridge at sunset the last day. Magic.

If it sounds interesting, look at to see the zillions of routes and prices one could look at.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 11:39 AM
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there are many quiet places on a ship. I would suggest buying a balcony cabin. That gives you extra privacy.

I like Royal Caribbean. I am in my mid 30's and am not a huge drinker, a glass of wine before dinner, and maybe one during the day.

Dinner can be as eventful or uneventful as you want it to be. You can even dine in your cabin if you want. You can request a tabel for 2 in the main dining room too.

Many options. My husband is not very social and very quiet, and he enjoys cruising.

We have been on many cruises and like it, but also like land vacations too. I like cruising destinations.

I have been on Royal caribbean, Carnival and Princess and like Royal and Princess the best. I think though that Royal is my favorite.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Wow, I just got off the Star Princess yesterday. I had to reread these several times. My experience was
so totally different that I can't believe we are talking about the same commodity. My guy says he will NEVER cruise again- because he was so sick of being in a crowd after one day. By day 6 he was no longer smiling, regardless of what we did. As soon as we got off (flight much delayed) and got on an airboat going over the Everglades and in the "wild"- he was smiling from ear to ear. I, myself, feel I would definitely cruise again- but on a smaller ship. Much smaller, reduced by at least half.

We did have excellent weather and decent ports, but it was Valentine's week and all the tables for two were booked for the entire cruise by the time the first day was over. Also I noticed that people who did want to be alone, went to Tequila's for dinner at more $$. The ports were so overpacked that I have bruises all alone one leg from being on the dock at Grand Cayman with 14,500 people from 8 cruise ships dropped within 3 hours. Last year before Hurrican Ivan they had limits to amount of drop offs. Not now, as they need the $$$ so bad. Jamaica and G. Cayman were extremely altered and reefs especially- practically stripped of all their color and former "life". Much is not operating or under construction and tours & venues that are operating are so packed that its like a lemming run. I have never stayed so long in so many lines in my life. Anytime dining was fine with us because we made a reservation each night for a certain waiter at a large table with friends, but lines were the norm for everything else. The three tender ports were more time getting on and off than at the port itself. In downtown Chicago on a big shopping day, I have never been bumped into by so many so often. You literally could not pause. Pool days were windy, yet sunny, and even there- the activity was so loud and so crowded that I would not be able to classify it as restful. Our cruise had very few children, but many young adults and teen-agers from England on a "winter break"- which I had never heard about before last week.

If your guy is a person who doesn't like big cities and lots of people- doesn't like close spacial proximity etc.- don't cruise.

You definitely could try it once and stay on your balcony- but I had a balcony and it was almost impossible to read out there or anything else on my cruise as you could hear others conversations, except in mid-day when all others were off the ship.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 06:04 PM
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We love Oceania Cruises--684 passengers, open seating for dinner, no additional charge for the specialty restaurants, no feeling of crowds, laid back feeling.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 08:25 PM
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I really hate to be big headed about this, but if you will read my first post it will basically sum up all the posts that came after. Be careful in the cruise line you choose. Give a cruise a try. It may not be your husband's all-time perfect vacation, but both of you will surely be enlightened and will most likely come away with a positive experience.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2005, 04:28 AM
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What is it about a cruise that your husband thinks he would like - I think that is the place to start this decision-making. We went on a Boston-Bermuda cruise as a family last summer and our shy 18 year old son had a great time. NCL also has non-group seating at meals. We actually spent very little time socializing with other cruisers other than polite brief conversations.

I also had a good time, and if you asked me to get involved in some party game or a sing-a-long I would have jumped overboard.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2005, 11:51 AM
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The beauty of cruising (at least on Holland America) is that everyone can be happy doing what appeals to him or her. Every Holland ship I've been on has had quiet places on various decks where the frazzled or introverted can relax, even if they don't choose to spend the money on a balcony cabin. Or your husband can go to the movie theater alone while the rest of the family chats with other passengers.

We've cruised 10 times on various lines over the last 15 years, often with our two daughters. All four of us enjoy different things, yet everyone was happy.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 01:57 PM
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You guys are great. I am simply going to print this out and let my husband read it. I'm game if he is, but I want him to have his eyes wide open. Thanks for all your help.
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